Here's a similar look. Living in Shiloh, men like this aren't unusual.
"Black Pride" from a few decades ago gave more Jews the confidence to publically dress according to Jewish Law.
One of the courses I've been studying in Matan is Decoding the Riddled Text of Esther taught by Atara Snowbell. We're delving deeply and slowly into the Megilla, Scroll of Ester, the story of Purim. The story of Ester and Mordechai begins with a description of King Achasverosh's feasts and celebrations in the early years of his kingship. It's clear that the Jewish community joined in. "We're loyal Persians first!" They didn't even protest when valuable dishes, goblets etc stolen from the Holy Jewish Temple were blatantly displayed and used by the Persian invaders.
The hero and heroine of the story, Mordechai and Ester both go by Persian names. Mordechai has no other name to our knowledge. Ester is also identified by her Jewish name, הדס Haddas, which means myrtle. Haddas, as a plant, brings us to another Jewish holiday, Succot. It's one of the four species. Chazal, our sages, consider each as symbolizing certain characteristics of the Jewish People. I have some haddas myrtle bushes in front of my house. They are very strong and hearty, green all year long. They're modest and have a hidden strength. That "hidden strength" makes it Ester the perfect translation. Ester is considered a Persian name, meaning star, but you can also hear a Hebrew name in Ester from the verb להסתרת l'hastair to hide. There are two reasons:
- Mordechai ordered Ester to hide her true identity.
- G-d's presence is hidden, but we can see His behind the scenes control.
It happens out of the Holy Land. The Chanukah story happens right here, near Shiloh, in the Holy Land. On Chanukah we light our windows and doorways with our public miracle lights. This is the Jewish pride holiday!
More thoughts will be posted later, G-d willing...